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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Smart Voter
State of California November 2, 2004 Election
Proposition 64
Limit on Private Enforcement of Unfair Business Competition Laws
State of California

Initiative Statute

6,562,861 / 58.9% Yes votes ...... 4,572,383 / 41.1% No votes

See Also: Index of all Propositions

Results as of Dec 6 4:02pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (24035/24035)
Information shown below: Summary | Fiscal Impact | Yes/No Meaning | Official Information | Arguments |

Should individual or class action "unfair business" lawsuits be allowed only if actual loss suffered? Only government officials may enforce these laws on public's behalf.

Summary Prepared by Attorney General:
  • Limits individual's right to sue by allowing private enforcement of unfair business competition laws only if that individual was actually injured by, and suffered financial/property loss because of, an unfair business practice.
  • Requires private representative claims to comply with procedural requirements applicable to class action lawsuits.
  • Authorizes only the California Attorney General or local government prosecutors to sue on behalf of general public to enforce unfair business competition laws.
  • Limits use of monetary penalties recovered by Attorney General or local government prosecutors to enforcement of consumer protection laws.

Fiscal Impact from the Legislative Analyst:
Unknown state fiscal impact depending on whether the measure increases or decreases court workload and the extent to which diverted funds are replaced. Unknown potential costs to local governments, depending on the extent to which diverted funds are replaced.

Meaning of Voting Yes/No
A YES vote of this measure means:
Except for the Attorney General and local public prosecutors, no person could bring a lawsuit for unfair competition unless the person has suffered injury and lost money or property. Also, except for the Attorney General and local public prosecutors, a person pursuing such claims on behalf of others would have to meet the additional requirements of class action lawsuits.

A NO vote of this measure means:
A person could bring a lawsuit under the unfair competition law without having suffered injury or lost money property. Also, a person could bring such a lawsuit without meeting the additional requirements of class action lawsuits.

Official Sources of Information
Arguments Submitted

Summary of Arguments FOR Proposition 64:
Proposition 64 closes a loophole allowing lawyers to file frivolous shakedown lawsuits against small businesses. Proposition 64 stops lawyers from pocketing most of the settlements from these bogus lawsuits. Don't be mislead by the trial lawyers' smokescreen: 64 doesn't change any of California's consumer or environmental laws! Yes on 64.

Full Text of Argument In Favor

Summary of Arguments AGAINST Proposition 64:
Newspaper headlines warn: "Consumers lose if initiative succeeds." The LA Times reports Proposition 64 "would weaken a state law that allows private groups and government prosecutors to sue businesses for polluting the environment and for engaging in misleading advertising and other unfair business practices . . . the current law would be drastically curtailed."

Full Text of Argument Against

Contact FOR Proposition 64:
Yes on 64-Californians to Stop Shakedown Lawsuits
3001 Douglas Blvd., Suite 225
Roseville, CA 95661

Contact AGAINST Proposition 64:
Consumer Watchdog
1750 Ocean Park Blvd., Suite 200
Santa Monica, CA 90405

  Official Information

Secretary of State

Campaign Finance Information Legislative Analysts's Office Nonpartisan Information

Easy Voter Guide

League of Women Voters - Analysis Other organizations League of Women Voters - Background Events

LWV Pros & Cons Public Meetings

  • Come to a meeting in your community where League experts discuss all state ballot propositions giving a nonpartisan analysis. Consult your Smart Voter county page for dates, times and locations.
News and Analysis

KQED-FM: Forum Talk Show

  • Proposition 64 - with host Michael Krasny and guests 10/7/04. (Opens in new window)
California Connected LA36 (Los Angeles Cable TV)
  • Voter Minute - a video guide (with transcript) to help you decide (Windows Media Player; opens in new window)
Google News Search
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Created: December 15, 2004 13:39 PST
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